Creatively Playful Fun at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival

April 21, 2016

Vancouver, BC (April 21, 2016) – The 39th Annual Vancouver International Children’s Festival takes place May 30 – June 5 on Granville Island. This year, ten professional performing artists from as far-reaching as Mexico and the Netherlands will be performing 87 shows in six of Granville Island’s indoor theatre venues. The Festival’s Activity Village make it easy for the whole family to be creatively playful together with such activities as bicycle spin-art, origami, circus skills, face painting, giant board games and many more. The Festival expects 25,000 children and adults in attendance.

Highlights of this year’s Festival include 2016 Juno Award Nominee Splash n’ Boots! Straight from Treehouse TV, this dynamic duo will have the whole family singing, dancing and laughing. Also of note are two theatre performances designed specifically for babies and toddlers.

In 2013, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival was the first to bring Vancouver audiences theatre for the very young. Building on this past success, the Festival is excited to present Asoma, a baby show from Mexico and Pekka a delightful puppetry show from Québec for ages two to seven. There are also many other amazing artists for all ages such as Circus Incognitus and The Box Brothers who will dazzle with their physical feats on stage!

There are four special evening performances including two Pyjama Night Shows where adults and kids are encouraged to head down to Granville Island in their favourite pyjamas for the ultimate bedtime story.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at childrensfestival.ca, by phone at 1.877.840.0457, in person at Tickets Tonight, Plaza Level, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver or during the Festival at our on-site box office located between Festival House and the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island.

Festival Passes are now on sale, starting at $12.50 per child/senior and $22 per adult plus tax and service charges. The Saturday night Variety Show tickets are $19 per child, $22 per adult plus tax and service charges. All passes include an Activity Village wristband.

For access to the arts Activity Village only: purchase an Activity Wristband for $6 per person (sold onsite only). Wristband price includes GST and Service Charges.

2016 FEATURE PERFORMERS

 THEATRE

Asoma (Mexico) – A joyous, playful and stimulating experience for the youngest of audiences, Asoma is a rare opportunity for babies to experience live theatre created just for them! Using the language of music and movement, this intimate performance is designed to capture the imagination and curiosity of babies. The actors and unraveling yarn become the ever-changing and captivating shapes, sounds, movements and possibilities of the performance.  As the suspense builds, fascinated babies want to know what will happen next.  Ages 0-3.

Snowflake (United States) – This entertaining performance by world-renowned clown, Gale LaJoye will have you laughing, crying and everything in between. Using the magic of illusion, he floats in mid-air, breaths life into toys, creates imaginative music, and dances The Nutcracker on skis! Introduce your child to the theatre with this perfect piece.  A truly special gem not to be missed! Ages 4 and up.

Extra-Céleste (British Columbia) – Céleste is having a hard time at school; she can’t seem to make any friends in her class, so she decides she must be from outer space. Céleste knows there is a whole world of people who are like her up in the stars, so she sets off to find a way to return to her home planet. Céleste then meets Martin, a new boy at school and the adventure takes a new turn. Extra-Céleste explores the world of a young girl with a big imagination and her struggle making social connections. As we see the world through her eyes, we realize that seeing things differently can be a wonderful gift. Ages 5 and up, performances in French only.

PUPPETRY

Pekka (Québec) – Open a door to a secret world where anything is possible.  How can Pekka have a bedtime story if the Moon is missing? Join Pekka, the tiny turtle with BIG courage as she embarks on an adventure to find Miss Moon and bring her back home. Come experience a bedtime story come to life with captivating puppets and a playful story.  Beautifully imagined and designed to intrigue young minds, this intimate show is a must see! Ages 2-7.

STORYTELLING

Michael Kusugak – Inuit Tales (British Columbia) – Bring your parka and gather ‘round award-winning children’s author and expert Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak, co-author of A Promise is a Promise with Robert Munsch. Michael grew up living in igloos, traveling by dog team on the sea ice and listening to stories from his grandmother. He weaves these experiences into engaging and vivid tales that provide a window into growing up in Canada’s North. A trip to the arctic everyone can easily warm up to, this touching and inspiring show is sure to please. Ages 4-12.

MUSIC/THEATRE

The Box Brothers (Netherlands) – Feel the beat and stomp along to this fun and engaging story. Kids will love this high-energy show where the musicians transform their bodies and four ordinary wooden boxes into an explosion of percussive and energizing beats. The Box Brothers is a unique and invigorating show that blends music, acrobatics and theatre into one electrifying rhythm.  Come on a journey of sound with a funny cast of characters wordlessly communicating through movement and rhythm. All ages.

CIRCUS ACROBATICS

Circus Incognitus (Québec) – Get ready to be amazed! Cirque du Soleil veteran Jamie Adkins dazzles as he uses everyday objects and discarded props to attempt acrobatic feats with hilarious results. The audience even gets involved by tossing lemons for Jamie to catch on a fork…held between his teeth! An expert at comedy, Jamie’s performance also highlights how through perseverance and determination, one can overcome adversity. Whether on the ground, on a ladder, or on a slack wire, Jamie has won the adoration of circus lovers around the world. You won’t want to miss this! All ages.

MUSIC

Splash n’ Boots (Ontario) – Are you ready to move and groove? Put on your dancing shoes and get up off your feet with Splash n’ Boots, Canada’s Children’s Music Group of The Year! They’ve shared the stage with The Wiggles, Fred Penner, and Sharon & Bram and are emerging as the next Canadian classic. Straight from Treehouse TV, this 2016, 2015 and 2014 JUNO Award nominated duo will have the whole family singing, dancing and laughing with a fun-filled performance. Splash n’ Boots love to make new friends all over the world by jumping, dancing and singing – and they can’t wait to share it with you! Ages 1-8.

H’Sao (Québec/Chad) – H’Sao’s infectious beats of pop, soul, jazz, and R&B will have kids tapping their feet and clapping along to the rhythm. H’Sao is sure to capture your heart with their irresistible joyous energy and lyrics of hope. A rich blend of musical colours and flavours, this a cappella music group draw inspiration from gospel and traditional African music.  For a real treat, watch certain band members break out into mesmerizing African dance during some songs! One show and this crossover hit will have you hooked. All ages.

DANCE

Project Soul (British Columbia) – You won’t need your seat for this moving dance extravaganza. Highlighting four different styles of street dance: Breaking, Popping, Locking and Hip Hop, this high-energy performance will bring you to your feet. Project Soul brings colourful characters to life through dance in a performance that also explores deeper themes about social pressures, overcoming obstacles and conquering fears. You’ll be amazed watching this collection of talented professional dance artists showcase their skills and love of dance. All ages.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Variety Show – The Festival’s annual showcase on Saturday, June 4 at 6:30pm is always a highly anticipated event. This year’s tour de force, hosted by Tom Jones, features the captivating Inuit storytelling of Michael Kusugak, the zany circus antics of Jamie Adkins in Circus Incognitus, the uplifting beats of H’Sao, Project Soul’s dance extravaganza, as well as toe-tapping, sing along tunes from Splash n’ Boots. All ages. Tickets $19 child, $22 adult (plus tax and service charge).

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival gratefully acknowledges the following for their generous support: CMHC Granville Island, Port of Vancouver, Westminster Savings Credit Union, Amacon, Sun Life Financial, Lamar Transit Advertising, Tickets Tonight, Fortis BC, Encorp, RBC Foundation, Pattison Outdoor, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Vancouver Aquarium, me&lewis, Squamish Nation, Loungeworks, Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver School Board, Sandman Hotels, City TV – Breakfast Television, The Georgia Straight, The Vancouver Courier, BCLiving, 96.9 Jack Fm, Yelp, Omni, Radio-Canada, Fairchild Media Group, The Government of Canada, Province of BC through BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, City of Vancouver Cultural Services, and Canada Council for the Arts.

The first of its kind in North America, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival began as a theatre festival for young audiences presenting international performances. Today the Festival is multi-disciplinary presenting theatre, music, dance, circus, puppetry and storytelling and over the years has been an inspiration to major cities throughout Canada and abroad, where annual children’s festivals now take place.

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Media interview requests please contact:

Joanne Da Silva | Communications Manager
Vancouver International Children’s Festival
e: marketing@childrensfestival.ca
t: 604.708.5655 | c: 604.417.0381